Saturday, September 22, 2018

Life has been interesting...

Interesting might be a good word...maybe ouch would be better.

On Friday September 14, we were in an accident. We were at a stoplight waiting for a car to clear the intersection so we could turn left. A large Ram pickup truck rammed into the rear of our Jeep. What a jolt! Ouch! 

The four people in our car all had some degree of whiplash. Thank goodness we were all wearing seatbelts. After exams and x-rays, the doctor gave us meds and said REST. We have been really tired from the meds and the pain so resting hasn't been difficult. 

Needless to say, I'm doing very little. I have done some reading in my Cricut courses. I've also used iron-on vinyl on two t-shirts. Ray helped me design his. In case you didn't know, he is an avid biker. 

When I found the heartbeat with the sewing machine, I knew it was right for me. I had to rework it some but I'm happy with it. 

We actually got outside for a while today and did a little walking. I'm hoping I can add a little more exercise every day. We still plan to leave October 1 on a trip north.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Garlic Knots is complete

A while back, Debbie at Stitchin Therapy was making garlic knots. I liked the block and decided to make a few. She used small squares but I had 2 1/2" squares, LOTS of 2 1/2" squares, so I used those. I chose a few reds and yellows with the colors matching within each block. The block is fun to make and rather addictive.

I worked on this at the Summer Retreat in July. Friends suggested I put the knots together in blocks of four based on value. I was just putting them on a design wall as I finished them. They looked much better sorted by value.

I free-motion quilted Garlic Knots with Jester Hats which is a tough pattern for me and I'm not sure why. I practiced and practiced with paper for a long time before sitting down at the machine. Immediately after the first 'hat', I was lost. But I persevered and finally finished the quilt. Don't look too close!

The borders are straight stitched using a walking foot. I used white 50-weight Aurifil thread for the Jester Hats and re #2250 50-weight Aurifil thread for the border. The backside of the border stitching is white Aurifil thread. The batting is Dream Cotton.

The backing is from my stash - you may have seen it on other quilts. Garlic Knots is 64" square and a donation quilt.

I've had a few finishes lately. With the cool weather, I don't mind a quilt on my lap for hand or machine quilting. I'm glad to have the finishes because I have lots of projects inn the beginning stages. I certainly wouldn't want too many projects in progress! Ha!

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Go Fly a Kite

Another finish! 

I put together Go Fly a Kite in July at a retreat. It is made with 2 1/2" squares from the my scrap cleanup in May. When I put the quilt together in July, I wanted a border. At the retreat, most thought an orange border would be good. The problem was that I didn't own the right orange fabric and I didn't want to spend more money on this donation quilt.

I finally decided that kites would add the orange color and also make the quilt more of a child's quilt.

The back of the quilt is a green and orange fabric from my stash.

Using white, 50-weight Aurifil thread, I machine quilted this with a walking foot in a cross-hatch pattern through the white blocks. The quilting was done prior to adding the kites and kite strings.

For the kite strings, I used a narrow black Clover Quick Bias Fusible Tape that I have owned for years. After ironing on the tape, I appliqu├ęd the kites and zigzag stitched the kite strings.

I found this orange with green, yellow, and dark orange stripes in my stash. It worked well for the border.

This 48" by 48" quilt has Dream Cotton batting.

We are enjoying cooler temperatures for a few days. I think it will change again within the week. I'm enjoying the hand sewing of the binding - I love the warmth of having the quilt on my lap.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Finishes: Dream Weaver Quilt and Up North Poncho

Dream Weaver is finished. 

This is a free pattern from Missouri Star Quilt Company. The block is simple and fun to make.

I used scraps to make this colorful quilt. 

I quilted this with a walking food and straight lines using teal #4093 50-weight Aurifil thread. The batting is Dream Cotton.

The binding has the blue from the border and the teal from the back - it seemed like the perfect choice. The back is a little lighter than the picture; it's a mottled teal.

This donation quilt finished at 57" square. 

I had plenty of blocks when I made this quilt and I also made Extra! Extra! and  Up, Up, and Away They are both done and in the donation pile.


My Up North Poncho is also finished. I bought the yarn when we were in Wisconsin (Up North) in June, thus the name. The design is my own and it evolved as  I went along.

It looks like I finished it just in time since we are enjoying cooler temperatures. Thank goodness the forecast has changed and the rain has stopped. This poncho is not waterproof.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

No Problem Staying Busy

I'm keeping busy. 

Of course I've been in the kitchen some. The preserving of produce is slowing down. The dehydrator isn't even running right now. I think the tomatoes are all done along with some pasta sauce and some tomato basil soup. I did make a lot of  Twice-Baked Potatoes for the freezer since we got a couple bushels of potatoes from our people. 

I love getting to know the people that grow my food. The couple that supplied us the last few years had to give up their large garden this year due to medical issues. So we found new people - we have a CSA with a young man and we get most of our bulk food from an Amish family about a half hour away. Both use chemical free methods although neither is certified organic. The prices are very reasonable and all of the food has been wonderful. We also frequent farmer's markets mostly because I love them!

I still want to make Freezer Coleslaw when the cabbage is ready and applesauce when we get some apples.

Of course all of this rain has to stop if anything is going to continue to grow. We are well over 9" since Saturday and we  still have days of rain forecast.


My Cricut learning is still ongoing. I tried my scoring wheel - it makes folding so easy. I made these 3D stars

and I tried the iron-on vinyl on a t-shirt.

I'm learning a lot and getting a better handle on the design software. By the time we visit our oldest son and his family in late October, I hope I know what I'm doing because the Cricut  Maker is going with us.


One of our youngest son's hobbies is keeping bees. A couple of weeks ago we were able to watch the process of gathering honey. After moving the boxes off of the hives, the frames are removed and the cells are opened with a device that looks like a paint roller with prongs. My seat for viewing was not in a prime position for photos.
opening the cells in a frame
Then the frames are spun and the honey is collected in the bottom of a large barrel. I loved watching the barrel emptying into a strainer above a 5-gallon bucket. Each 5-gallon bucket held over 50 pounds of honey!

When our son puts the boxes with the frames on the hives, he sometimes uses spacers between them so the bees can create more honeycomb there. It's not as neat as the honeycomb in the frames - it's more freeform. It tastes the same and the honey can be spun out of these or the whole thing can be eaten. We all enjoyed eating the honeycomb.

The raw honey is soooo good! We brought a few jars home but you can see that one is almost half gone already. 


I am doing some quilting. I'll have a finished quilt to show you very soon - it's in the washing machine. Another one just needs binding. I am busy quilting another one. I decided to do the free-motion quilting over several days because I definitely need some daily practice. 

I have at least 9 quilts begun so I really don't need anything new right now. But this just happened anyway

Stay tuned...

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

A little bit of everything - ideas, a bag, a sign ...

The days seem to just fly by. On Monday, Ray and I worked at the Teacher's Luncheon that our church hosts every year. It's so hard to believe that summer is coming to an end. 

I've been busy kitting a few quilts to take to a retreat in November. 
My idea for using some 2 1/2" squares in a large block
An idea using 2 1/2" squares inspired by Nancy Zieman's column quilts
I know it's early to get the quilts kitted but we are planning a couple of trips in October and November. I want to be sure I'm ready. After all, I have my priorities! We'll be in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to see the fall colors with a few days in Door County on our way home. About a week later we'll head to North Carolina to visit our oldest son and his family and also some friends. Hopefully we'll see more fall colors. On our way home, we'll spent some time in the Appalachian Mountains in western North Carolina and then in Tennessee visiting Great Smoky Mountains National Park. 

I had a request to make a bag for Grandson G to carry his piano books to/from practice. I didn't have any music or piano/keyboard fabric so I decided to create some. 

As I was designing the bag, it occurred to me that almost all of my projects are prototypes. Maybe someday I'll start using a pattern. 
I decided to label the G key 
This bag is about 12" by 15". It has a pocket on the back. The bag is quilted with a large loop pattern.
The note pocket
The inside is the neat black fabric with the colorful circles.
Inside of bag

Ray and I are binge watching a TV series on Fire TV. We usually watch 2-3 episodes or more of Heartland a day. This is the most TV I've watched in years! 

We were in Madison, Wisconsin last Friday night because Ray had an evening photography shoot. I spent the evening at the motel catching up on my Cricut learning. I finally made my first sign yesterday.
I'm learning...

It is hard to watch the news this week - the area we stayed in Friday had over 15 inches of rain on Monday and lots of flash flooding. It hit many businesses including the camera store, that hosted that Friday outing. People were stranded in motels where we stayed. There is so much damage and most don't have flood insurance.

Today we met Ray's brother and his lady friend for lunch. We had a great time and enjoyed some really good pie. It's been a good day!

Thursday, August 9, 2018

A finish: Up, Up and Away

Up, Up, and Away is finished. I'm afraid that it is quite obvious that I haven't been practicing my free-motion quilting on a regular basis. Hopefully I'll get more practice in the coming weeks.

Up, Up, and Away used some of the leftover Dreamweaver blocks. Dreamweaver is in the pile to be pinned and quilted.  I added balloons to this donation quilt because I though that would be child-friendly.  I wrote about my design for this quilt here.

Of course, I used Dream Cotton Batting and 50-weight Aurifil thread - this time #2735 blue that match the bordersThis donation quilt is 54 inches square.

I used orange on the back.

I quilted this with a double loop mostly. There are a few single loops and spirals too. I did not quilt the balloons so they stand out a bit.


I've had ideas for my blue scraps but none have really worked like I wanted. So, I have a new idea! I'm making strip squares with the lights and the darks.
light blue strip squares
Then I'll make half square triangles with the light and dark strip squares. The darks will have a splash of color once in a while. Here are a few blocks.

I saw a picture of a quilt done in lights and darks from a fabric line. I think it will work with my blues. I have enough strips cut for all of the squares and I still have this left:
Basket without the handle is 15" long, 12" wide and 8" high.
Now, I think it's time to get to work in the kitchen - the produce just keeps coming!


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